New European airline association – Airlines for Europe (A4E) – formed to lobby for the industry across Europe
Modelled on “Airlines for America” (A4A) which lobbies/advocates Congress and the Administration on behalf of its member airlines, a similar lobbying alliance has been set up and launched in Europe. It calls itself “Airlines for Europe” (A4E) it so far has Europe’s 5 largest airline groups – Air France KLM, easyJet, IAG, Lufthansa Group, and Ryanair as members, and expects to expand. It wants to “represent the interests of its members when dealing with the EU institutions, international organisations and national governments on European aviation issues.” What that means is that it wants to lobby against anything that does not increase competitiveness, lower air fares, or increase airline profits. The particularly want to fight “large scale airport monopolies, high charges, taxation and inefficiencies characterise the aviation supply chain.” In particular they want lower costs at airports; lower costs of air traffic control provision, through completion of the Single European Sky; regulation to prevent air traffic control strikes; use of new technology to make efficiency savings; and using SESAR funding to drive compliance with the Single Sky framework; and they want the removal of what they call “unreasonable taxes” on air travel. All this is justified by predictions of economic benefits and ever more jobs …..
A4E (Airlines 4 Europe): New European airline association takes off
- Launch event with EU Commissioner and EU Presidency.
- EU Aviation Strategy offers unique opportunity to improve competitiveness of EU airlines.
- Stimulating growth by lowering airport charges and removing unreasonable taxes.
- Call for action plan to avoid disruptions during ATC strikes.
- Thomas Reynaert appointed Managing Director.
The new association has been founded by Europe’s five largest airline groups – Air France KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group, Ryanair – to represent the interests of its members when dealing with the EU institutions, international organisations and national governments on European aviation issues.
A4E will grow its member base over the next months, uniting European airlines to take forward changes that will increase their competitiveness and result in lower fares and more choice for passengers.
Taking place just a few weeks after the presentation of the EU Aviation Strategy, the Summit is the first major meeting of policy-makers and the industry. The five CEOs – Alexandre de Juniac, Carolyn McCall, Willie Walsh, Carsten Spohr and Michael O’Leary – commented: “We welcome the European Commission’s Aviation Strategy for a stronger and more competitive European aviation industry. But we need to act now – large scale airport monopolies, high charges, taxation and inefficiencies characterise the aviation supply chain. We want to work with the Commission and the Member States to implement the strategy, and we call on the Member States to support the work of the Commission to reduce monopoly supplier costs.”
Besides its support of the Commission’s Aviation Strategy and the commitment to identifying challenges and opportunities to improve the competitiveness of the EU Aviation sector, A4E will campaign on at least three important measures:
- Lowering the cost of the EU’s airports by ensuring that monopoly airports are effectively regulated; ensuring that passengers receive the full benefit of the commercial revenues which they generate at airports and ensuring that securitycharges are efficient. A new Aviation Economics study shows that airport charges at the largest 21 European airports have increased by 80 per cent since 2005. “Airport charges have risen by more than three quarters over the last ten years. This is in direct contrast to the lower air fares being delivered by European airlines which have decreased by 20 per cent over the same period. We want to create growth and new jobs across Europe, both within aviation and beyond.”
- 2. Delivering reliable and efficient airspace by reducing the cost of Air Traffic Control (ATC) provision through completion of the Single European Sky and better economic regulation at EU level; ensuring that ATC strikes do not cause disruption to passengers across Europe; using new technology to make efficiency savings; and using SESAR funding to drive compliance with the Single Sky framework. “The best way to improve the competitiveness of EU airlines is to lower the costs of monopoly providers – which would help everyone. In this context, we support the Commission’s proposed Single European Sky 2+ package and welcome its positive statements around future movement on ATC strikes. We urge all parties to engage in dialogue and we will seek an urgent meeting with ANSPs to discuss and develop an action plan.”
- 3. Stimulating more economic activity and jobs by creating the right regulatory environment, removing unreasonable taxes. The Italian government has recently increased the taxes on passengers charged at Italian airports by €2.50 from 2016 onwards. A4E is opposed to unreasonable taxes on aviation – these damage the economy and jobs. The increase in the Italian passenger tax is a disappointing step in the wrong direction and it will damage the Italian economy.
Experience and economic analysis both show that removing taxes is beneficial, e.g. the Dutch government’s removal of its ticket tax in 2009 led to strong growth in passengers; the Irish government’s removal of traffic tax in April 2014 led to extensive traffic growth at Irish airports and an 8% increase in tourism last year; economic analysis by PwC shows removing UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) would boost British GDP by 1.7 per cent and create 60,000 new jobs by 2020. “The focus must be on concrete and measurable actions that support European airlines and their customers by providing more flights and lower fares. All unreasonable taxes on aviation activity should be removed.”
Consumers have benefited from the liberalisation of aviation in Europe in the 1990s with substantially lower fares and more routes across Europe and to the rest of the world. The range and quality of services have increased and airline costs have fallen by 1 – 2% per year for the last two decades. A4E believes that this decline should now be matched by a reduction in those costs which airlines do not control themselves.
A4E reiterated that aviation is a proven driver of economic growth and jobs. The proposed measures will create many jobs and increase Europe’s GDP. A core task for A4E is to secure the sector’s future development as a growing and innovative industry with both a European and an international dimension.
Alongside campaigning on the issues above, A4E will work on several key principles and action items which should underpin EU aviation policy. The most important of these is the commitment to safety and ensuring that safety standards are developed on the basis of a risk-based scientific assessment.
The five CEOs added: “Today marks the beginning of a new era for European airlines. With the endorsement of the five largest airline groups in Europe, A4E will be a powerful vehicle to address the industry’s issues. For the first time, low-cost and network carriers are creating an association to support the adoption of a new European Aviation Strategy. Today we also call on all airlines in Europe to join us and make our voice even more powerful.”
“We are delighted to welcome Thomas Reynaert as Managing Director of A4E. He has joined us from UnitedTechnologies where he ran their European government relations office. His wide experience in the aviation sector and his strong management background will help us to meet our challenges in Brussels.”
The CEOs confirmed their support for the liberalisation of the whole aviation value chain and for pro-competition policy and regulation within the EU. They also confirmed their opposition to the provision of state aid, as a general principle, to airlines and airports. They agreed that EU and national regulation and policies should support the efficient delivery of services, and that this includes the need for efficient operations to minimise the environmental impact of aviation. The importance of balanced consumer rights was also underlined; EU and national policies need to ensure that consumer rights are respected.
Lobby Facts. EU
Information can be found about a lot of companies that lobby in the EU at http://lobbyfacts.eu/
You can search by company for more details of their budgets, accredited staff etc.
For example, Heathrow’s page
On the Transparency Register, easyJet has no less than five people, Kirsten DE HAAN,
Chris GADSDEN, Paul MOORE, Mark RAMSDEN and Alexandra VARLYAKOVA who are accredited to access European Parliament premises. Ryanair has one person, Cristian Samoilovich
On the Transparency Register, IAG has one person, Steve Huygens, accredited to access European Parliament premises.
On the Transparency Register, IATA has two people, Monique de Smet and Philippe Morin, accredited to access European Parliament premises.
On the Transparency Register, Air France has one person, Olivier Bertrand, accredited to access European Parliament premises Lufthansa has two people.
And so on …..
Big five EU airlines join to form new lobbying alliance – to cut taxes and regulations, and make more money
The EU’s 5 largest airline groups – Air France-KLM, EasyJet, IAG, Lufthansa and Ryanair – have unveiled plans to establish a new airline lobbying group (not yet named) later this year to present a set of common goals to European regulators. They met in Brussels to set out the initiative. Carolyn McCall said the new entity will be based on the “Airlines for America” lobbying group in the USA and will be “open to all European airlines.” The airlines say there is a “need for a new entity, something new and different” with real “traction”. They want to put on a show of unity and provide a united position on regulatory policy as the new European Commission works on its key aviation package. Carolyn McCall says the new entity will go “live” in October, will represent 4 shared common goals: (1). Development of a European aviation strategy, to have simple regulation, to ensure growth and cut costs. (2). Lowering airport costs through reforming the European airport charges directive. (3). Stopping air traffic management from striking, and using SESAR etc to make savings and more profit. (4). Growing demand for air travel by “removing passenger taxes and unreasonable environmental taxes”. Willie Walsh also wants to “impress on the Commission the risk of and impact of passenger taxes.”
There is also Airlines 4 America.
Airlines for America (A4A), formerly known as Air Transport Association of America (ATA), is America’s oldest and largest airline trade association. A4A member airlines and their affiliates transport more than 90% of U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. Based in Washington, D.C., the association advocates for the U.S. airline industry. It is the only trade organization that represents the principal U.S. airlines and is their voice when lobbyingCongress.
Since its founding in 1936, A4A has played a major role in all government decisions concerning aviation, including the creation of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the creation of the air traffic control system and airline deregulation. It also advocates that the American government implement a national airline policy that will enable U.S. airlines to function as effective multinational enterprises. Furthermore, it believes an element of such a policy is the modernization of the U.S. air traffic management system, the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
…. and more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airlines_for_America
The A4A website says
Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of its members to shape crucial policies and measures that promote safety, security and a healthy U.S. airline industry. We work collaboratively with airlines, labor, Congress and the Administration and other groups to improve air travel for everyone.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.